Video: Meet comedian, social commentator W. Kamau Bell


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — W. Kamau Bell is a comedian at the center of a lot of buzz these days, for his comedy, and also for his CNN documentary series.

The Bay Area native has moved away and come back twice.

Now, he’s back in a place which he loves, and he says the Bay Area feeds his comedy and drives his perspective on life.

“We have some of everybody here. In the Bay Area, there is a lot of movement..a lot of fluidity–‘I never thought about that before. Tell me more about it’,” Bell said. “There’s just a lot of people mixing it up and having conversations.”

Mixing it up is what makes the Bay Area a perfect fit for Bell’s comedy. He calls his work sociopolitical in the style of Stewart, Noah, Maher, Colbert, Chappelle, and other guys commenting on the world.

“I think there’s a certain kind of comedian who like to talk about the world and what’s going on in life,” Bell said.

“Totally Biased” was the name of his earlier standup show. Now, he is hosting a CNN documentary series called, “United Shades of America.”

One episode was done at San Quentin. He hopes to make people think by lacing humor into even into the most difficult situations.

“I sort of knew the facts and figures about prison in America,” Bell said. “And to go in there and see it…and not just talk to them, I like a lot of these people.”

In the series, Bell talks a lot about race, including having two interracial daughters.

He said he loves living in Berkeley because of what he calls the “D Word,” diversity.

Bell said he comes from a long line of disrupters and having a big sense of humor helps.

He believes people can take in difficult information better when they can also laugh about it.

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